News Releases
Media > News Releases > May 2024 > Attorney General Yost Issues Annual Ohio Missing Children Clearinghouse Report

News Releases

Attorney General Yost Issues Annual Ohio Missing Children Clearinghouse Report


(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost today released the 2023 Ohio Missing Children Clearinghouse Report in recognition of National Missing Children’s Day, which occurs annually on May 25.

“Local law enforcement is the first defense when a child goes missing, and Ohio’s sheriff’s offices and police departments do a fantastic job reuniting missing kids with their families,” Yost said. “Although we celebrate a 98% reunification rate, one missing child is one too many – BCI stands ready to assist.”    
The clearinghouse documented 22,374 people missing in 2023 – 1,757 more than the year before. Of those, 17,405 were reports of missing children – 1,950 more than the previous year.

Thankfully, authorities reported that 98% of the missing children – 17,033 of them – were recovered safely by the year’s end. Open-source data revealed that five of the children reported missing were found deceased in 2023.  
2023 by the numbers

How the data is collected  

When a child goes missing, the first step is notifying local law enforcement, which creates a missing child report. Law enforcement agencies then enter the data into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database. NCIC is operated by the U.S. Department of Justice and is a federal database used to index missing persons information and criminal information. Once a child is found, the report is closed and the case is updated in NCIC.

The Ohio Missing Children Clearinghouse then receives statistics on missing persons within the state that have been entered into NCIC and issues an annual report to raise awareness about the issue of missing children. Additional training, assistance and resources are made available to local law enforcement through the attorney general’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

What the data tells us

Law enforcement is required to submit missing children information to NCIC, but the reporting of additional specific details about a case may be sporadic if information isn’t readily available or if the child is found before supplemental information can be added.

Click here to view data by region

The annual report issued today details all missing persons entries for which circumstances were specified:

  • 9,469 cases involved a runaway, where a child leaves a home without permission and stays away overnight.
  • 35 cases involved abduction from a noncustodial parent, where a parent, other family member or another person acting on behalf of a parent keeps or conceals a child, depriving another individual of custody or visitation rights.
  • 15 cases involved abduction by a stranger.

In addition, Ohio law enforcement in 2023 issued 13 AMBER Alerts through the Ohio AMBER Alert Plan involving 17 children. Sixteen children were recovered safely; one child is still missing.

Ten Endangered Missing Child Alerts were also issued, involving 12 children. Thankfully, all the children were recovered safely.

BCI’s Missing Persons Unit

The Ohio Missing Persons Unit is housed within the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), which operates the Missing Children Clearinghouse. As a part of BCI’s Criminal Intelligence Unit, the Missing Persons Unit coordinates resources, facilitates rapid responses to missing person cases and provides immediate access to important investigative tools. In addition to focusing on missing children, the Missing Persons Unit plays an integral role in cases and issues involved missing adults, human trafficking and unidentified human remains.

The Missing Persons Unit has a 24-hour toll-free hotline (800-325-5604) to field calls from law enforcement, parents and community members. A database of Ohio missing persons is available on the attorney general’s website.

A full copy of the 2023 report can be found on the attorney general’s website.

Steve Irwin: 614-728-5417


Bookmark and Share